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Crop’s Minor Delight – a Pinot Noir

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On a very chilly evening MrWineOH and I ventured out to Crop Bistro to see what the talk was all about. One of the new additions to the restaurant scene in Ohio City – we were excited to sit at the chef’s table and partake of some delicacies.

I want to hit the highlights on the food, because the real story was a beautiful pinot noir I encountered. When we were seated at the Chef’s Table, which is a beautiful granite bar in front of the kitchen – we weren’t sure what to expect. But we were quickly treated to a gift from the kitchen. As an amuse bouche, we received this gorgeous egg on a little plate. The Chile Deviled Egg ($4 for 3 or $8 for 6) is a taste bud delight! I highly recommend them. Did I mention that sometimes they are pink? Yeah, you’d think that’d be a little freaky, but the flavor is incredible.

Another highlight was the Cherry Bomb – a little culinary genius that closely resembles a deep fried onion, but in reality is a wonton wrapped combination of plum tomato, chorizo sausage, jack cheese, and corn. This appetizer as shown is $8 and worth every penny. Cutting into it is a beautiful sight and the flavors blend beautifully.

One great thing we found is that a few appetizers a piece were filling and the perfect way to taste several of their signature dishes. I would not recommend the chef’s table though. The way you are seated makes the waitstaff reach around you to set plates or refill a wine glass. Its awkward.

Speaking of wine!

Sean Minor Carneros 2010 Pinot NoirAfter much consternation over the wine list, and the obvious frustration of MrWineOH and our server… I selected the 2010 Sean Minor Carneros Pinot Noir. List price is $42 there.

All I can tell you is – its absolutely lovely! Cherry, plum, a bit of blueberry – and nicely balanced spice and earthiness on the finish. While this pinot noir is aged 10 months in 100% French oak of which 20% is new – there isn’t overwhelming oak on the palate. I could smell the oak – but it was beautifully integrated into the flavors.

For my wine geek readers, this is a blend of Pommard and Dijon clones sourced from Carneros vineyards.

And at 13.5% abv (alcohol by volume) it isn’t overwhelming on the alcohol, even at this young age. Don’t get me wrong – it is a bit hot – but it mellowed nicely on day two –  after the server was nice enough to recork the half bottle I had remaining. This is definitely one I’d decant, or at least let sit in the glass for a while before sipping.

I see this paired with many dishes, but its not light enough for seafood – definitely a medium bodied wine for heavier white meat dishes or pasta. Don’t go crazy with italian spices with this – you will lose the beautiful subtlety of the fruit.

The winery sells this for $22 – I haven’t seen it in local shops, but the distributors have it in Ohio, so ask for it! Its a good buy at retail.

Now, will we be returning to Crop Bistro for a full meal? The jury is out on that. The other apps we had were okay, but not fabulous – and even though we spent what we’d typically spend for a night out – the great wine and the company made the evening, not the location. For a business dinner – I think it works – for a regular night out? Maybe not.

*** We’ve got some great events coming soon! Beer and Cupcakes THIS Sunday – tickets still available. And Wine and Cupcakes – West Side – White Wines for Spring – on March 22 – tickets available here!

Also – Our very first East Side Wine and Cupcakes will be April 28 at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights – those tickets will be up soon!  ***


4 responses »

  1. Thanks for the great wine tip – I’ll be looking for that one too!

  2. Great recap of our evening! My experience with Crop’s bar service/pricing is likely to keep me from a return visit.

    When I decided that whisky was going to be my libation for the evening, our server immediately deferred to a bar manager who appeared without a bar menu, but with a brief verbal rundown of available single malts (per my stated preference). The availability of Ardbeg caught my fancy, as I’m partial to Islay whiskies. I also made mental note of a few others he’d offered and kept those in the back of my mind for future reference.

    The Ardbeg is a peaty, “fresh” experience in single malt whisky. It’s distinctive regional flavor may be prone to love/hate reactions, which I am decidedly on the love, love, love side of the equation.

    As the evening progressed, I decided my second taste would be a previously offered Macallan 18 year old. A far more mature, sublime taste paired well with that particular point in our meal and our evening. It complimented and advanced to pairing experience nicely.

    While not a rare selection by any stretch, a single serving of 18 year old is expected to cost between $20-$28 (based on my experience). When presented with our check I noted a $42+ charge for the single service of Macallan 18 YO! I decided not to contend with their pricing at the time of payment, we did perform some follow-up investigation as to comparative prices in the area. From tavern to tablecloth, no other establishment exceeded $30 per serving for this selection. Just to make sure, we actually confirmed with Crop that this price wasn’t a mistake and we were assured that it was not an error.

    For me, the moral of this story as with any dining experience, is:”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

    • Or “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.”


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